Tag: institutions

Respecting the Institutions


I went to a high school basketball game this evening to watch my cousin Grace play. As we always do before the first varsity game each night, we stood for the national anthem. I’ve written in years past about the impression this makes on me, the thought of crowds of parents and players in thousands of high school gyms across the country doing exactly the same thing. It’s one of the things that makes me stubbornly optimistic about America, the knowledge that this is a solemn moment for so many, many of whom are largely unconcerned about politics but nonetheless feel pride and reverence toward our flag and the nation it represents.

On the drive home I thought about those who burn flags, or kneel in disrespect to the flag, or otherwise feel and express contempt for our country. I understand criticism, and I respect the right to express criticism. But I think I also understand the desire to tear down, burn down, gut, and destroy whole institutions out of anger and frustration, often in hopes that something better might rise in its place.

Ayaan asks Joe Lonsdale if we should rebuild or reform failing institutions. They also discuss Joe growing up in Silicon Valley, tech and the media, and whether or not the word “nerd” is still a derogatory term.

Joe Lonsdale is the managing partner at 8VC, a US-based venture capital firm which manages several billion dollars in committed capital. He was an early institutional investor in many notable companies including Wish, Oculus, Joby Aviation, and Guardant Health.

Towards a Restoration Workers’ Return


This is my first Member Post, and it started as a quick comment. I soon realized it was getting at something I have wanted to explore a tad deeper, so I have brought it here for your reading pleasure. Thoughts and feedback are highly appreciated. Thank you Ricochet, and thank you dear reader.

Near the end of the most recent Law Talk with Richard Epstein and John Yoo, (#145 The Housewarming Party), Prof. Yoo discussed a recent dissent by Judge Laurence Silberman. Yoo spoke to the change in Silberman’s rulings/philosophy and GOP/Conservatism as one that has become more “populist, anti-institution.” I couldn’t agree more – though perhaps not for the reasons that the culinary savant Yoo may think.

Losing the Culture


Granville, Ohio, is a pleasant place — tucked among the Appalachian foothills of east-central Ohio, with all the old trees and old buildings an old soul could possibly love. Granville is a college town. Its residents are healthy and wealthy and comfortable with their lives. All this means, naturally, that Granville is a Democratic stronghold.

It’s a little odd, of course, that the Denison women’s studies professor comes home, every day, to her little Greek Revival cottage built by a misogynist pig and spends her evenings toying with recipes in the same kitchen where, a century earlier, a beleaguered woman stood barefoot and pregnant, but . . . that’s the oddity of America in 2020. Those who slander the country’s patrimony with the most vehemence happen to be its custodians.

Member Post


I am genuinely glad to see so many people rediscovering the value of the Constitution: the structure it gives our government, separation of powers, checks and balances. I just wish they would also remember this insight the next time their preferred policy or politician is the one running afoul of those limits. The president had […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Why Do Those Wanting to Transform an Institution Almost Always Claim the Institution…


. . .and the people who want to preserve what the institution has stood for must leave and create a new institution to preserve the values of the old institution?

The United Methodist Church, which I recently joined in the hopes of avoiding just such a fracturing, has before it a proposal to split over whether to adhere to traditional church teaching. Although the triggering issue is listed as human sexuality, sexuality is merely the surface issue for a much deeper conflict over many aspects of traditional church doctrine, the authority of scripture, the value of traditions, and questions of how God has related to His people throughout history. But this is not the thread in which to discuss the specifics of the Methodist controversy. For better details on the Methodist proposal, go to the thread entitled, “This Week in the UMC” by @jimchase.

Dispatch from Bucharest: Are we Having Another Revolution?


shutterstock_171837251Greeting from troubled Europe, Ricochet and America! Romania is in political turmoil. I write from calm, prosperous, populous Bucharest, probably the safest, least troubled capital in Europe. The protests and political turmoil here have nothing to do with immigration. Horror came over the weekend — I thank again my fellow Ricochetti who inquired as to my safety! — when a nightclub burned down; there are nearly three dozen dead, another seven dozen wounded. These poor souls have somehow been connected to a political anger that is rarely voiced and never articulated here.

It is no explanation, but the facts are as follows: Prime Minister Victor Ponta will resign. The leader of the party running the legislature — and, therefore, the government — made the announcement; Ponta himself has not yet spoken. In name, this is a socialist party or social-democrat party. In deed, it is the party of the oligarchy. The PM runs the country, but it is not clear on what leash he runs.

The man who runs Ponta’s socialist party is Mr. Liviu Dragnea, of whose criminal deeds no one is in doubt. He is a new, corrupt man of ambition representing one of the more important fiefdoms. He has risen through the party without any connection to popular politics. He resigned from government earlier this year — in happier times — because of an unfortunate indictment. This is not necessarily held against him by the oligarchy (I hope to explain the basics of Romanian politics in a sequel post). For now, let me give you a view of democratic politics here.

Member Post


Hello, friends & enemies, this is the third in a series of essays on comedy & conservatism. I started with some reflections on why comedy is the way to understand our situation. This is because our situation is remarkably like that of ancient Athens. Democracy is getting out of hand; & the opposition to democracy is […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.